I try not to ask dumb questions, but this may be one
Was the 44-40 the first bottleneck cartridge? If not, then what/when?
No, I do not own "Cartridges of the World"
No the 44-40 was preceeded by a couple of decades . There were a host of bottleneck cartridges starting in the 1850's, such as the spencers, then followed some of the larger capacity rounds like the 44-77,43 Egyptian etc that came in the 60's